The Common Good

DC 127: Flipping the Foster Care Waitlist

Jesus flips things upside down. DC 127 plans to follow suit.

Photo: Chris LaTondresse
Church goers gathered for worship and prayer in Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C. Photo: Chris LaTondresse

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The Washington, D.C.-based foster care initiative created by the District Church seeks to reverse the foster care waitlist in our nation’s capital, leaving parents waiting to foster the 3,000 children currently on the list instead of children waiting to be taken in by families.

“The heart behind DC 127 is to reflect God’s heart,” said District Church Lead Pastor Aaron Graham. “We believe there are no orphans in heaven. And Jesus taught us to pray, ‘your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ And so our prayer is that we would reflect God’s heart, who’s adopted us, by helping adopt and foster kids in D.C.”

With more than 600 churches in the D.C. area, Graham’s hope is that if one of every two churches would take in one child the adoption wait list can be eliminated as well.

DC 127 is also flipping the perception that multiple pastors from different faith traditions can and won’t group together to tackle issues like foster care. On Tuesday night, pastors from five different D.C. churches gathered with members of all five congregations to pray for DC 127 and the children and parents it hopes to serve.

“We know that one way we can unite the churches is through prayer,” said Amy Graham, discipleship pastor and small group Coordinator at The District Church.

Sojourners provided the space for the hour-long event in the packed Columbia Heights’ Gala Theatre.

Most of the pastors touched on the idea that taking care of orphans isn’t new.

“Every Christian was once an orphan,” said Rev. Thomas Hinson, rector at The Church of the Advent.

Dave Schmidgall, pastor at National Community Church, also reminded the group that the idea of adoption and taking in the orphan even goes back to the Roman era, where early church members would take in and raise unwanted infants left outside the city walls to die.

“God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow,” Schmidgall said. “We are reflecting the heart of a god that first loved us that way.”

But Washington, D.C., is not the only place where churches are coming together to take care of orphans. Movements like DC 127 are happening all over the United States, particularly in Colorado, where the number of children waiting to be adopted has dropped from 800 children to 365 children in two years.

The DC 127 prayer gathering is the first of four similar meetings leading up to a bigger event in the fall.

To get involved, pray for those on the frontlines of this movement and the children as well, and look to participate in initiatives in your area.

Brandon Hook is the Online Assistant at Sojourners.

Photo: Chris LaTondresse

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